"[My relationships were] like I was in these movies where the script was only half-written. When I’d get to the end of this half-script, the other actors wanted me to ad lib. But I had never gotten the hang of that. That’s why these movies were always box-office failures. Six of them in the past twenty years. I always blew the lines." ~ from my horrible first novel "Learn How To Pretend." (unpublished)(obviously)

Friday, September 28, 2012

It's Just the Booze Talking

Ha ha! The funny things that we attribute to the booze talking.
We always tend to think that the things we say and do when we've been drinking are not really things we would normally do, that, somehow, the alcohol makes us do it. But it that really the case? Is the anger and violence that is unleashed really not something we would do? What about the passive things we do then?

I've never been a violent drunk. I've been a happy drunk, a crying drunk, a dancing drunk, a singing drunk. I've seen videos that my ex took of me drunk. God they were funny. I mean, they were funny! We laughed about them for the longest time. Like the one where I got on my son's electric 4-Wheeler and rode it down the driveway, losing my shoe in the process. And I weighed too much to drive it back up the driveway. It was hilarious.

Hilarious in the "America's-Funniest-Home-Videos-Guy-Takes-a-Baseball-Bat-to-the-Nadgers" kind of funny.

Which is to say, when you think about it, not funny at all. It's more of a reaction to a scene. What is funny (funny queer, not funny haha) is that the drinking on that particular evening started as a result of a very rough (read "borderline traumatic") Thursday afternoon/evening with our oldest -- the one I've mentioned that has a variety of psychological and behavioral disorders. We eventually got him settled down and into bed and we set into drinking. A lot, despite the fact that we both had work in the morning. We were loud and laughing and having a great time. But....

But we were also self-medicating. We were running from the problem. What was the alternative? We might have talked about it, but neither of us were emotionally equipped to do that. We might have laid down on the bed and held each other. There must have been something we could have done. But I was afraid to do that. So we drank, and we talked shit about the boy. Called him a "dick" behind his back. It was a release. It was a diffusing of the issue. It was running away.

I look back on this now and I can identify this as a huge failing in our relationship. I can see that this is the type of situation where boozing hurt us. Had our marriage not failed, I might not have seen this. But the fact is it's just one bleary piece of a puzzle.

And it's something I have to not beat myself up over. And it's something I have to remember is not entirely my fault. We were complicit in this and other acts where we abused substances to mask our fear and pain.

I don't want to have to quit drinking. That's the requirement for AA though, that desire to quit. I realized today that drinking is part of who I am. The past two months have already been enough of that for me, that stripping away of my identity. Why would I continue that pain? I don't know. I don't know if I can do it.

But I do know this:

I'm going to the store in a minute or two, and I'm not coming back empty-handed.

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